Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tire!


Here's a picture I purchased from the trial photographer Jim Poor. He always take great photos and I can never resist getting at least one. I didn't have any tire shots yet, so now I do!
One of the new AKC rule changes coming in September is that the tire is to be set one jump height lower than the rest of the jumps. So for Jimmy jumping at 12 inches, he will only have to jump through an 8 inch tire. I really like that change! You can tell by this picture that Jimmy barely clears the tire. I know the big dog folks aren't so happy about this change. It's hard to make everyone happy.....

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Tortoise and the Hare

Just for fun, I checked to see how old each of the boys were when they got their Open Jumpers title. Surprisingly, they were quite close together in age. Wilson earned his at approximately 3 years and 3 mos. Jimmy was only a tad younger at just about 3 years 2 months. I was still pretty new to agility back when Wilson got his OJP, so I didn't think to keep an agility journal on Wilson. But I do know that he earned his OJP in just three tries. He has a certificate from Front and Finish magazine that lets him use the title of FFX-AG for excellence in agility, given when a dog completes a title in just three consecutive tries. I do remember that making course time was always an issue, and we usually used up just about every second of SCT. Wilson is the slow and steady type, an off-course fault was extremely rare. Now, with Jimmy, I am keeping a journal to record each trial we attend, our score, our time, SCT, results, and what might have gone wrong. It took Jimmy 10 tries to finish his OAJ! We have had off-course tunnels, and many, many bars down. Certainly, not all of this is Jimmy's fault. He is just so fast, and my handling skills are honed to Mr. Slow&Steady. Many of my frontcrosses are poorly placed, causing a bar to go done. I never needed a rear cross with Wilson, so my skill with that one is non-existant. More bars go down as a result. And sometimes Jimmy is just trying so hard to go as fast as he can, that he just jumps too flatly. We are working with jump chutes and I can already see improvement.

So I think this is another example of the Tortoise and the Hare mentality. Wilson, a much less driven dog, who definitely seems to stress much more at trials, was able to complete his title quickly. High drive, agility-loving Jimmy was actually alot tougher to handle to a title.

Of course, once Wilson moved to Excellent, and all of his stress manifested at the weaves, it took a very long time indeed to finish that next level. Hopefully, I am not cursing myself by typing this, but I think Jimmy will be a bit speedier through Excellent, at least in Jumpers. Table issues being what they are, all bets are off in Standard!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

OAJ

Yesterday, Jimmy completed his AKC Open Jumpers with Weaves title. Yipee! It was probably one of the most difficult courses I've seen for Jumpers, very tight and a tough weavepole entry. I felt sorry for the big dogs as the jump before the weaves was so close that they could get in just one stride before making a sharp left turn into the entry. Good little Jim nailed it on his first try. We had a less than pretty rear cross elsewhere, but, hey, the bars stayed up, so all was good. Jimmy was speedy, taking 30.64 seconds and having 41 for SCT. No other 12 incher qualified, so I *thought* we got the Blue. However, someone had a conflict with the Standard ring, and came back to run after the big dogs finished. Her little dog buzzed through a full second and a half faster than Jimmy. It was a Cavelier King Charles! Not a dog that is usually so speedy, but this one was amazing! So Jimmy finished up his title with a second place and a clean run.

Many hours later in Standard, our table issue still plagued us. But, I saw a wee bit of progress as Jimmy actually got on the table, he just wouldn't do the down. I was telling him what a good boy he was in my best, sweetest voice. I want him to know the table is a good place. Come September, his performance yesterday would have counted. The rest of his run was clean and speedy, although I forgot to check our times. The building was getting very hot and we were ready to pack up and hit the road.

So now Jimmy has his OAJ title and not even one leg in Open Standard. We are sure to be looking at some ring conflicts in the near future between Excellent and Open, but, hey, Jimmy gets to play with the "big dogs" now!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jim

Well, I've finally come to the end of my beach trip photos. I have no idea what I will post about next!

I liked this picture picture for the clouds and the curve of the land in the background. It's also classic Jimmy, he almost always has his tongue out!


This next one isn't a very good picture since Jimmy's black-dogness makes him mainly a silhouette. However, I just like the big tree-trunk of a leg holding him up in mid-stride. If it weren't so dark, you would see that here again, Jimmy has his tongue out!




Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Tired Dog is a Good Dog

Jimmy only has two speeds: 100 MPH and Out Cold. Here's an example of the latter.....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Review - Scent of the Missing


Patricia McConnell, from The Other End of the Leash raved about this book. It tells the story of bringing up a Golden pup as a Search and Rescue dog. While I didn't enjoy it as much as Trisha seemed to, it was an interesting and informative read. It definitely lets you know the lengths one must go through to train and then actually search for victims. It is not a goal for anyone but the most dedicated.
If anyone would like my copy, I'd be happy to send it along. Just let me know.

Digging to China

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Turn!


Many thanks to Holly at Tails of the Visions Cardigans for sending the Master of Karate and Friendship Award .

And like Holly said, it was hard to pick only three to send it along to. So to keep the flow of friendship going here are my 3:

Traci over at Spider Central, ah, errr, A Day in the Life
Dina at Life with the Horde
Shep at Cardigan Complex

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Scenery Sans Chiens

Here are a few pictures from one of our jetski days when we did not take the dogs along. We can travel alot further when they stay home.



This is a view, looking south, of the dune area along the South Carolina beachfront. Those tiny little dots on the horizon are the start of beach highrises in Cherry Grove, SC.



Just across the Intercoastal Waterway, and looking north, is a North Carolina beach. It stretches for about two miles before you get to civilization. I love both of these beaches for their very wonderful lack of humans! Nothing against my own species, but miles of empty beach is a very special treat!




Here is John playing King of the Mountain. I love the contrast of white sand and deep blue sky!




John again, having fun.



We stopped to walk the beach awhile, anchored the jetski a fair distance out off the beach. Unfortunately not far enough, as the tide continued going out even further, and left us stranded! The jetski is way too heavy for the two of us to move once it is settled in the sand. We had to wait a good couple of hours for the tide to turn around and bring back enough water to float the jetski again. It was a beautiful day so we really weren't tortured too badly. We had a cooler full of refreshments as well!




Once we were back on the water, we headed up to Calabash, NC (known as the seafood capital of the world, a pretty big claim for a tiny little town). The next photos are some of the scenery along the way.


This beach had many leaning trees such as this. On closer inspection, the were cover in moss, and also zillions of tiny crabs, who were scurrying to and fro.




A closer look at the moss. The crabs were too quick to hide to get a picture of them.




Here was a long dead tree, it's trunk pocked with countless bore holes from insects and probably just weathering. It was really pretty neat.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Self Portraits

I love to take photos. I find it fun and challenging. However, I HATE to be the subject of a photo! It is VERY rare that I see a photo of myself that I like. Cameras just don't seem to like me. They make me uncomfortable and I am sure that gets reflected in the picture.

The sliding glass door on our condo is very reflective. It might be coated with something to help keep the sun out, I don't know. I have often noticed how well it reflects the ocean scene behind me if I face in toward the livingroom. So, I decided to experiment with a self portrait. Of course you can't really see me in clear detail, which I like! But it gives some suggestions. The first one here includes my ever so loyal buddies.

This second shot catches the ocean behind me, and I do so love being at the ocean. But also, I think it is neat how if you look inside of my reflection, you can see John sitting indoors. He's right where my heart would be, and that's pretty darn appropriate since we have spent the last 20 plus years together!

Anyway, these are my attempt at being artsy :-)



Saturday, June 5, 2010

Agility Trial...Hot! Hot! .....

HOT! And we're not talking about Jimmy's performance! Today was one of those scorchers, 95 degrees and high humidity! My first run was at about 8:15 and even then it was enough to melt the dogs.


First was Open FAST. The judge was very generous and set a very easy "Send", but my strategy was not what Jimmy needed and he wouldn't send into the zone, but rather wanted to circle and nip at me. So no Send, no Q......


Next, at around 11 am and in blazing heat, was Open JWW. Here we fared a bit better. Jimmy popped out of the weaves but did fine on the second try. He kept all the bars up, came in 10 seconds under SCT, and earned us a 2nd place. It was one of those runs where we felt in sync.


A short bit later, it was Open STD. It was a nice easy course but we each took turns screwing up. I messed up the teeter and he would not set so much as a toe on the table. So now our table has gone from bad to worse.....even the new rules in Sept. won't help if he avoids it all together. Major Sigh!


Anyway, here are some pictures from the day. This was their reward for the early morning, long car ride, and miserable heat......I think it made up for it!







Thursday, June 3, 2010

Under the Boardwalk....

errr....the fishing pier, that is! I loved how Caribbean blue the ocean was on this bright sunny day.

Good Ambassadors

On a cloudy day, we decided to take a small road trip south of Myrtle Beach to an old river town called Georgetown. It sits on the Sampit River. It's a quaint old town filled with well maintained colonial era and civil war era homes. As part of the day, we rode around in a little open air tram pulled by a jeep. Wilson and Jimmy were welcome to ride along. Both boys exhibited the best manners! Neither boy uttered so much as a peep. They just patiently rode around, staying in their seats. When the tour ended, several of our fellow tourists commented on what good dogs we had, and wanted to know the breed.....


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rich Colors


I loved this photo for how richly the colors turned out. I hope it comes through on your screen. I also loved that Wilson was turning back to check on me, making sure I was coming along. Too bad his eyes are shut, but I don't think it hurts the picture too much.
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